Originally founded by Polabian Slavs, it finally became part of the Kingdom of Saxony during the Napoleonic Wars. It soon became a major manufacturing center for textiles, especially lace, which is still a well-known product today. Its 63,000 residents enjoy a proud history, and it was even the first city in East Germany to have a McDonald's after the Berlin Wall came down. Education is an important part of local culture, with Plauen being the home of the University of Applied Sciences, which has 300 students. Several notable person throughout history have called this place home, including the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, Heinrich von Plauen, and Hans Otte, the famous composer and pianist.
Location: In the Vogtland Region of Saxony
Plauen is on the border of Bavaria by the Czech Republic, and is the capital of the Vogtlandkreis district. Its continental climate offers hot summers and cold winters, so residents really get to enjoy the changing seasons that provide varying recreational opportunities throughout the year. Getting in and out is easy, since the town is on the Leipzig-Hof line, which connects to major cities like Dresden and Nuremberg.
Business: New Factories and European Trade
This growing city is gaining economic importance, and many are making the move to start their business. Commercial and industrial spaces are available in many sizes, and local institutions offer state-of-the-art job training. Currently, some major factories are already located in the area, particularly in auto manufacturing. Some of the most well-known are Porsche, BMW, and Volkswagen.
Culture: Historic Bridges and Mining Culture
There are three famous bridges within the town that have the Roman arch style and date back hundreds of years. In fact, the Alte Elsterbrücke is one of the oldest stone bridges in the entire country, but it is the lace that continues to keep this city famous. Plauen lace won the Grand Prix at the first Paris World Fair, and is still in high demand today. Its history as a mining town can be explored at the Alaunbergwerk Ewiges Leben, or “Eternal Life” alum mine, which also offers a treasure hunt.
Activities: Unique Souvenirs and Outdoor Recreation
Shopping is a unique experience in the German border city. Not only can you buy Plauen lace in one of the many clothing or linen shops, other popular souvenirs include local herb schnapps and handmade musical instruments. For those who enjoy the outdoors, there is something to do all year round. Hiking and cycling are the choice in summer, and in winter, skiing is the key recreational activity.